Fanatics file fake complaint, Christian jailed, Odisha.
Persecution Relief was intimated by Mr. Sudipto about a Christian named Durga who was being persecuted and falsely booked under various fake allegations including rape.
Rev. Ramachandra Sahoo leads a Church in a village called Boriko – Nuagaon, located in the Khurda district of the state ofOdisha, India. 2 years ago, Durga Charan Behera and his family accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Since then, they have been attending the Church lead by Rev. Ramachandra.They are the only Christian family in that village and the rest are Hindus.
Durga and his family stayed away from all Hindu rituals and religious functions and did not participate in them after they started following Jesus Christ. This agitated the Hindu villagers and they have been making it difficult for Durga and his family to live in peace.
Recently, a villager built a broiler farm behind Durga Charan’shouse. The broiler farm’s commercial electricity connection ran right over Durga’s house. Durga Charan asked him to fit the line elsewhere so that it doesn’t interfere with connections from his home. The villager, who got angry at Durga’s request, seen this as a good opportunity to teach Durga a lesson for not participating in the religious activities of the village and following Christianity, called 3 other men to confront Durga.These men, namely- Banamber Behera, Digamber Behera and Sailabhama Behera came and severely beat up Durga.
On 13/02/2020, Durga Charan made a complaint against his persecutors at the Begunia police station at around 1:30 pm. The police summoned the accused and by 5:30pm, the persecutors and other villagers gathered at the police station. There was commotion at the police station as many villagers kept bringing up fake accusations against Durga and his family. In the middle of the blame game, to Durga’s shock and astonishment, a ladysuddenly told the police that Durga had tried to rape her! That’s when the argument took a wrong turn. At around 10pm, the police arrested Durga.
Rev. Ramachandra rushed to the police station as soon as he heard what had happened to his fellow believer. He refused to believe the allegations made against Durga. Speaking to Persecution Relief Rev. Ramchandra said, “This is absolutely false and fake.” Unfortunately, the police refused to listen andthe persecutors were unrelenting. Ultimately Durga was booked under IPC sections 294/323/354/506/379. He was immediately sent to jail.
The next morning, the case was forwarded to the Court. Durgacharan Behera was then transferred to the Khurda jail. Rev. Ramachandra tried to obtain bail but the police officer had not deposited the Case Diary in court hence, bail was not possible. Rev. Ramachandra has requested help and prayers as they are facing financial constraints towards bearing all legal and judicial expenses and needs.
Today 17/2/20 Durga got the bail from the court and he was released.
As Durga and his family go through this challenging situation, we urge you to pray that God would strengthen them in their faith. They may continue to trust in the Lord with all their heartas they make decisions concerning the case. More importantly, pray that the villagers and the religious fanatics would realize the wrong that they have done and withdraw the case. That God would meet with them in a wonderful way and they would have a change of heart.
“Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:1–3 Through God’s word, we can draw strength from the fact that when challenges begin to increase or hey worse, the time for God to lift us up is not far away. If you have found yourself in a situation where your challenges seem to overwhelm you,remember that God is waiting to lift you up and vindicate you.The battle and the victory, both belong to our God!
Between January 2016 to December 2019, there has been a rise of 59.6% of Hate Crimes against Christians all across the country. In 2019 alone, Persecution Relief has recorded the maximum number of 527 cases compared to 447 cases in 2018, 440 in 2017 and 330 in 2016.
What stands out amongst the Hate Crimes in India is that 4 Christians were murdered in 2019. We recorded 199 incidents related to Threats, Intimidations & Harassments against Christians, 104 incidents of Church attacks, 85 incidents of Physical Violence reported which includes Women & Children, 100s of House Churches were forcefully closed down by Religious Fanatics and the local administrations.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has showed a shocking 179.4% leap in cases of Christian Persecution between 2016 to 2019! From 39 cases being reported in 2016, the number has sky rocketed to 109 cases in 2019 alone bringing the total count from across the country to 527 cases. Uttar Pradesh has proved to be the most hostile state in the country against Christians for the past 3 consecutive years. Tamil Nadu continues to rank as the second most hostile state in the country with 75 cases, followed by Karnataka with 32 cases, bringing the state of Maharashtra to number 4 with 31 cases and Bihar with 30 cases stands at number 5.
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